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怪異村莊:女孩到12歲變成男孩
The astonishing village where little girls turn into boys aged 12

In every way, Johnny is physically and biologically male. But, astonishingly he did not grow a penis until he hit puberty.

約翰尼無論在外表上、生理上還是其他各個方面都是一個男孩。但令人驚訝的是,他到了青春期才長出陰莖。

He is one of many children who live in Salinas, an isolated village in the southwestern Dominican Republic, who are seemingly born female, only to become men in their teenage years.

他住在多明尼加共和國西南部偏遠的薩里那斯村。那裡的許多孩子出生時看起來都是女孩,到了青春期才會變成男孩。

Although Johnny's story may seem extraordinary, cases of little girls turning into boys are so prevalent in the village that it is no longer considered abnormal. The children are simply referred to as the 'guevedoces' – which literally translates as 'penis at 12'.

儘管約翰尼的故事聽起來匪夷所思,但這種女孩變身為男孩的事情在這個村子裡卻很常見,人們已經見怪不怪了。這些孩子被稱作guevedoce,字面意思翻譯過來就是"12歲的陰莖"。

Johnny, 24, was originally named Felecitia by his parents and brought up as a girl. He spoke to Dr Michael Mosley for the new BBC2 series "Countdown to Life – the extraordinary making of you".

24歲的約翰尼原本被父母取名為費利西提婭,並且被當成女孩撫養長大。在英國廣播公司電視2台拍攝新系列紀錄片《新生命倒計時——特別的生理構造》時,約翰尼與邁克爾•莫斯利博士進行了交談。

"I remember I used to wear a little red dress," he said. "I was born at home instead of in a hospital. They didn't know what sex I was.

他說:"我記得我以前穿著一條小紅裙。我是在家裡出生的,不是在醫院,所以他們也不知道我的性別。"

"I went to school and I used to wear my skirt. I never liked to dress as a girl. When they bought me girls toys I never bothered playing with them. All I wanted to do was play with the boys."

"我以前上學的時候總是穿短裙,但我一直都不喜歡穿成女生的樣子。他們給我買女生的玩具,我都不喜歡玩。我只想跟男生一起玩。"

The rare genetic disorder occurs because of a missing enzyme which prevents the production of a specific form of the male sex hormone - dihydro-testosterone - in the womb.

這種罕見的基因缺陷之所以會發生,是因為母體子宮內缺乏一種酵素,阻止了一種雄性荷爾蒙——雙氫睾酮的產生。

All babies in the womb, whether male or female, have internal glands known as gonads and a small bump between their legs called a tubercle. At around eight weeks, male babies who carry the Y chromosome start to produce dihydro-testosterone in large amounts, which turns the tubercle into a penis. For females, the tubercle becomes a clitoris.

子宮內的嬰兒,不管是男是女,體內都會有被稱為生殖腺的腺體,雙腿間也會有一處隆起被稱為結節。在嬰兒大約八周大的時候,攜帶Y染色體的男嬰兒會大量生產雙氫睾酮,讓結節發育為陰莖,而女嬰兒的結節則會變成陰蒂。

But some male babies are missing the enzyme 5-α-reductase which triggers the hormone surge, so they appear to be born female with no testes and what appears to be a vagina. It is not until puberty, when another huge surge of testosterone is produced, that the male reproductive organs emerge. What should have happened in the womb happens around 12 years later. Their voices deepen and they finally grow a penis.

但有一些男嬰兒缺乏促使荷爾蒙大量產生的5α還原酶,所以他們出生時沒有睾丸,只有像陰部一樣的生殖器官,因此,他們被當成女孩。只有當他們到達青春期,睾丸激素大量產生時,他們的雄性生殖器官才會出現。這個本該在母體子宮內進行的過程在12年後才發生。他們的聲音開始變低沉,並且最終長出了陰莖。

For Johnny it happened at the age of seven. He claimed that he had never felt like a little girl and was far happier after he fully became a boy.

而約翰尼則是在七歲那年長出了陰莖。他說他從來不覺得自己是個女孩,當他真正變成男孩的時候,遠比以前更開心。

"When I changed I was happy with my life," he said.

他說:"我真正變成男孩以後,對生活十分滿意。"

A little girl named Carla is currently going through the same transformation, aged nine. Despite being brought up as a girl, his mother noticed that from the age of five he was more inclined towards the rough and tumble play of little boys. He has recently had his hair cut short after wearing plaits for years.

一個名叫卡拉的小女孩目前九歲,也在經歷同樣的轉變階段。儘管他從小就被當成女孩撫養長大,他的媽媽早就注意到,他從五歲開始就更喜歡小男孩那些粗魯的磕磕碰碰的遊戲。他最近也把留了許多年的辮子剪成了短髮。

"I feel like a man now," he said.

他說:"現在我覺得自己像個男人了。"

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